Honey Apricot Scones

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Honey-sweetened scones loaded with dried apricots, perfect for breakfast or your next brunch.

Honey Apricot Scones - The Wimpy Vegetarian

I went to a honey tasting last week, and what an eye-opener. I knew there were different types, of course, with no less than three shelves at my local grocery store dedicated to the voluptuous nectar. But I confess I rarely have more than one or two different honeys in my cabinet at any given time (and really saw no reason to have more), and thought the differences between, say, Orange Blossom Honey and Star Thistle Honey were mostly nuance and marketing. Wrong.

When we arrived, the table was set up with a paper plate at each of ten seats. Small bowls filled with little plastic spoons scattered around the table, along with pitchers of water and plates of crackers and apple slices to cleanse our palates between tastings. The tasting was organized and led by Marie Simmons, an award-winning, prolific cookbook author who is at work on a new cookbook, A Taste of Honey, that will share honey recipes, folklore, and pairing recommendations. It’s due out in spring 2013, so keep your eyes out for it. As a special bonus that evening, one of the other guests keeps some hives, and brought some fresh honeycomb to share with the group. In all, we sampled 16 different honeys before stopping for dinner, but Marie was generously prepared to have us sample another 13. So much succulence, so little time.

If you decide to do something like this yourself, here are some tips that Marie shared with us:

  • As with wine, start with light-colored honeys and work your way up to the darker ones.
  • Examine the color and clarity of the honey first; breathe it in, and evaluate its scent; check the viscosity with your little spoon; and finally taste it. To taste it, place a small amount on the front of your tongue and allow it to melt across your mouth, and close your eyes as you focus your entire attention on the flavors that show up both initially, and after 15 – 20 seconds. Do the flavors linger, morph into something new, or quickly taper to nothing? Is it floral, or is it savory? Is it buttery, crisp, citrusy, or spicy?
  • We passed the honey jars around, one at a time, and discussed each one before moving onto the next. It slows down the tasting, but otherwise I think it would quickly become a blur.
Honey Apricot Scones Single 400: The Wimpy Vegetarian

Some tips in buying honey:

  • You generally get what you pay for. Some less expensive honeys are cut with corn syrup to reduce their cost.
  • Buy raw honey, not pasteurized. Pasteurizing is a heat process that helps to prevent crystallization of the honey on the supermarket shelves. But the heat processing damages the enzymes that are good for you, and can affect the flavor of the honey. If your honey crystallizes, just place it in a bowl of hot water for a while, or nuke it on a very low setting.
  • Darker honey asserts a much stronger taste, with molasses, butterscotch, or caramel tones; pale golden honeys were generally more floral, citrusy, or spicy.
  • Although I generally try to buy local honeys, the ones we tried from Sicily offered greater complexity in flavor, and were just delicious.

Apricot Honey Scones

     by Susan Pridmore

Ingredients (Makes 6 scones)

  • 1/2 cup dried apricots (I used Enduring Sun’s Larissa sun-dried apricots)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons (10 oz) all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (I used Gibson’s Orange Blossom)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • turbinado sugar


Place the dried apricots into a bowl. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, and pour it over the apricots. Cover the bowl in plastic to seal the heat in. Let sit for 30 minutes to soften. Drain, and dice the apricots into 1/4″ pieces. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade. Pulse a few times to distribute the baking powder and soda in the flour.

Slice the butter into 1/4″ pieces and add to the bowl of the processor all at once. Pulse 10-12 times until the butter is the broken up to the size of little peas. Empty into a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, orange zest, buttermilk, and egg. Pour into the bowl containing the flour mixture, and fold in using a large spatula until it’s completely incorporated into a dough.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead a couple times with floured hands and shape into a circle, roughly 9″ in diameter. Lightly oil the surface of a chef’s knife and slice the dough into 6 triangular “pie slices”. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle liberally with raw or turbinado sugar. If you don’t have turbinado, you can substitute granular sugar or omit.

Bake for 15 – 17 minutes.

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  1. says

    The whole tasting was such an eye-opener for me. I had no clue that honey could taste like molasses, and had never tried honey from Sicily. There was even a honey that tasted a bit like a washed rind cheese of all things.

  2. says

    I am definitely going to try these. And a honey tasting sounds great. I’m collecting honeys from around the world. I have some from Lithuania (really good!) Cuba, and Oaxaca, and some different ones from my beekeeping friends. Amazing how different they all taste. I would love to have a honey-tasting party one day.

    • says

      Before this tasting party, I had never even considered buying honey from different countries, or even different areas of this country. What a mistake that’s been. You are so right – it is truly amazing how different they all taste. There were a few that had my eyes been closed, I would have been hard pressed to guess they were honey. You should definitely have a honey-tasting party with your beekeeping friends!!

  3. says

    Btw, I tried soybean honey at our fall beekeeping meeting and I thought it was REVOLTING. Like fetid feet!!! I am so glad my bees stay away from soybeans.

    Our honey is raw and unpasteurized. I have a lot of mint in my garden and around the farm, and some of my fellow beekeepers said they can taste it in my first crop of honey from last year. I think I can too. Bees are amazing.

    Oh, and I have Fairyduster honey from Arizona too. Okay, I’ll shut up now. When I get going on bees I can’t stop.

    I will watch out for Marie’s cookbook, too. :)

    • says

      Soybean honey??!!! How fascinating. I will steer clear of that one if I run into it LOL. I love the idea that the mint in your garden gets infused in the flavor of your honey. Bees are amazing for sure. And now you’ve got me looking up Fairyduster honey – I love the name! I’m so glad you stopped by so we could share some honey connecting!!!

  4. says

    Scones are everywhere these days – fantastic right? I posted some up only yesterday 😛
    Love this delicious version of yours – a must try!

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. says

    I was looking forward to reading about your honey tasting. You did an outstanding job of distilling what was clearly an abundance of information. I had no idea cheaper honeys contained corn syrup! Honey is one of my favorite flavors, and I’m looking forward to working up to some of the darker ones. Honey and apricots – fantastic! Thank you so much.

    • says

      There was an abundance of information – Marie did such a wonderful job of setting it all up for us. I’ve decided to add some honey to my cabinet now that I know there’s such a range in flavor. And they last forever!

    • says

      Thanks Juls! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I’m in a group that gets together every 2 months to taste something. Recently we did plain, full fat yogurts, and red wine vinegars that we tasted by sucking them through a sugar cube. Really, really fun.

  6. says

    A honey tasting? How exciting. I didn’t even know that that many kinds of honeys existed! I will definitely have to scope out a tasting in my area. It sounds like such an experience.

    Btw loving these scones. I have so many apricots to use up so this is perfect!

    • says

      Thanks Chung-Ah!! It was really a lot of fun – I am now going to start adding honeys to my cabinet now. I’m particularly going to be on the lookout for dark ones. It’s always so fun to learn new things about something that’s been under your nose the whole time.

    • says

      Thanks! Play around with different honeys to see which ones you might want to use, but a floral, citrus or spicy one would work well here. Thanks for stopping by – I hope you have a chance to try them!

  7. says

    Looks like we were both thinking the same thing this week with baking scones :) I love the flavor of yours! Honey apricot sounds like such a gorgeous combination!

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